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How Car Stuff Works

How Car Brakes Work

Car Brakes are the device we use for slowing down or stopping the motion of a vehicle and also to keep it from starting to move again. So it is without a doubt that the car brakes are the most important part of driving a vehicle. It would make no sense at all to drive if you wouldn’t be able to stop and you would have to slam into a wall. Brakes are fitted to most wheeled things that move.

Friction brakes on vehicles will store the heat in the rotating part, which is the drum or disc during the braking application and then releases it gradually to the air. There are many different types of brakes:

• Disc brake - which is a device used for slowing or stopping the rotation of a wheel. The brake disc, otherwise known as the rotor, is usually made of cast iron and is connected to the wheel or the axle. To stop the wheel, friction material in the form of brake pads, which are mounted in a device called a brake caliper, is then forced mechanically, hydraulically or pneumatically against both sides of the disc. The friction then causes the disc and the attached wheel to slow down or to stop. Disc brakes have a much greater stopping performance than drum brakes and they are also more reliable. If the discs are damaged, it is normally in one of three ways:

• Warping
• Scarring
• Cracking

• Drum brake – this is a brake in which the friction is caused by a set of shoes or pads that will press against the inner surface of a rotating drum. The drum is connected to the rotating wheel. Drum brakes are sometimes still used in vehicles now days, but not often. The only reason they are still used is because of the weight and the cost advantages. Drum brakes, depending on the way that the shoes are hinged, can sometimes have a “self-servo” characteristic. This increases the stopping power of the vehicle without any additional effort from the driver because the rotation of the drum drags the shoes around with it, and this then increases the force holding them together. The disc brake has no self-servo effect because the pads act perpendicularly to the rotating disc.

• Hydraulic brake – is an arrangement of braking mechanism that uses hydraulic fluid, typically some type of light-viscosity petroleum oil. It transfers pressure from the controlling unit, which is usually found near the operator of the vehicle, to the actual brake mechanism that is usually found at or near the wheel of the vehicle. The most common of hydraulic brakes that are found on most automobiles, consist of:

• A brake pedal
• Master cylinder
• Hydraulic lines
• A “slave cylinder”
• And the braking unit

• Regenerative brake or Electrical brakes – have very recently been introduced to the production of battery electric and the hybrid electric vehicles. Braking with these systems is accomplished by switching the motors to act as generators that convert motion into electricity instead of electricity into motion. This means then that this system was no more efficient than conventional friction brakes, but it did reduce the use of contact elements like brake pads, which eventually do wear out.

Just like conventional brakes, dynamic brakes convert energy to heat, but it done by passing the generated current through the resistors that dissipate the energy. If it is used appropriately, the heat can be used to warm the interior of the vehicle.

Brakes come from many different oem's such as aem brakes, ebc brakes, hawk brakes, brembo brake co are just a few of the dealers that make and sell performance disc brakes. When looking to buy a new set of brakes go with a performance company you can trust.

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